Iain Britton
New Zealand
In the last three years my poetry has been published by most NZ Literary journals: Poetry NZ, JAAM, Takahe, Turbine, Spin, Southern Ocean Review, Auckland Poetry and Trout. I have been recently published in the UK and abroad; poems published by Links, Manifold: Orbis, Slope 16 and The Drunken Boat. 

They stand on balconies
fingers burning
jabbing fags at buildings.

Inside amongst lights
tied around scrawny necks
a funky group
bawls out songs
to flashy couples
there to dance.

Mikes are licked
soundz boil
the floor
slips sweatily.

I slide along walls
as black as night...don't
want to be seen
by diners as they
ram in lumps
of marinated chook.

A drunk has seen you
naked on a black horse
riding up Queen street
in front of a Ferrari.

The Hilton is big...but
finding you
is like feeling
for your navel
in the dark.

My hands touch
the hills the hollows
the lakes that spill
in the wet season
and fill the natural
contours of your body.

If I have to go underground
to splash amongst the shit
the debris the carcases
of the city to find you
I will. You come

only once and I want
to make the most of it -
the sun the moon
the spits of rain
which fertilise the tears
that run from your eyes.

Skinned Feelings

It wouldn't 've  taken much
to grab a mop a bucket
slosh hot water
into corners to rid cracks
of bugs that bite in the night
turn white skins purple.

A high pressure hose
could've transformed this house
into a place scrubbed up
for surgery
for the likes of Christian Barnard
to shove a thumping
good muscle into my chest.

I have begun to sweep up
the skinned feelings
of this house. I've
opened its windows.

On the roof seagulls
squeal for me to emerge.


Leaning against the wall
is today's equivalent
of rigor mortis
in wood...

two slit eyes  a
blocked nose
a hollow for a mouth.

Last time I saw
my father in the Assessment
Ward of Palmerston
North Public Hospital
he shared the same

Then as now
I see things
from both
pushing upwards
like flickering neon.

Can't tell really
but lying here
stars caught between eyelids
air trapped in my throat
a dream freezes

shakes me out  of a trance.

I pretend to ignore
the creaking joints
the slow stiffening
of my head

My father caught
in the final act of gapng.

Birthday Boy

Snow has fallen
flat on hills.

I pay the dentist
for the false fang
that fits between
my lower jaw and
upper abdomen.

The sun is shining.
England has beaten
Denmark 3 nil
in the World Cup.
I've had a lot of coffee and
my eyes have stripped
four girls in 200 metres.

I'm doing well
for a caffeine-soaked
bloke in Shangri-La
reading Basil Bunting
between peeping
at shoppers
walking about
with steam in their faces.


It's my birthday
and I want to remember it
by doing something
absolutely significant.

I will think of my mother
who has turned
into a cauliflower
and lives at Hillcrest.

She's almost green
to look at
but her heart is big
and white and she is
growing out of the ground
and appears to want to
burst into clouds
of seed any day.

The wind will have
the final say

when and where she goes.